Mexican food is complex. With just a handful of basic ingredients every region of the country has created a very unique cuisine that reflects the lifestyle and traditions of that region. The more I learn about the different regions and their cuisines, the more I realize I’m just starting to scratch the surface of this country’s food and culture (that go invariably hand to hand).
I recently discovered a new great restaurant while taking a taco tour with Lesley Tellez. Con Sabor a Tixlta is a small family-owned restaurant in the Roma neighborhood, very close to Mercado Medellin. We tried two different tacos de guisado (guisado can be any main dish cooked for breakfast or lunch time), one chile relleno (stuffed pepper) taco and one mole verde taco. The chile relleno was very good, but the mole verde taco was exquisite.
This mole verde could also be considered a pipian because it contains pepita (ground pumpkin seeds). This mole is so herbal and unique that I wasn’t surprised to learn that some of the ingredients were hoja santa, avocado leaves, pumpkin seeds and something called mole leaves. This taco was so good that I made a mental note that day to go back for more. The following week I took Jon and my friends Marco, Erik and Liz for a Guerrerense (from the state of Guerrero) food adventure.
Liz and Erik had been there before and were excited to go back. We learned that Tixtla is a small community in the state of Guerrero some 20 km east from Chilpancingo, the state’s capital. The restaurant is run by the mayora (female head cook) Enedina Bello Gonzalez and her sons Alfredo and Juan Patricio. Mrs. Enedina travels to Tixtla (some 3 hours south of Mexico City) every week to bring back the ingredients she uses for her dishes. The love and care she puts into the ingredient selection and preparation of the food are evident when the food finally comes out of the kitchen. Everything we have, from the drinks to the dessert, was a proud representation of Guerrero’s cuisine.
Chilate: A drink made with cacao (cocoa beans), piloncillo (similar to molasses), rice and cinnamon. Creamy and delicious!
Chicken enchipotlado: Chicken cooked in a chipotle pepper sauce with raisins, plantain and pineapple. Sweet, spicy and savory, just the way I like my sauces.
Barbacoa de pollo: Perfectly cooked chicken in adobo sauce
Enchiladas de mole: I don’t think these need an description other than the mole was delicious.
Fiambre: Chicken, beef, chorizo and pork served over a bed of lettuce drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce that tastes delicious sopped up with a slice of bread.
When the time came to order dessert we decided to share a torreja, the Guerrero version of French toast. It’s a piece of bread covered in egg battered and fried. Then it’s bathed in a syrup made of honey and cinnamon, sometimes it has raisins and almonds. It’s not a very pretty dessert, I must say, but the flavor… just look at the reactions it got in our table:
Con Sabor a Tixtla joins the list of my favorite places to eat in Mexico City. The place is a little small and it can get crowded and loud, but in Mexico City it’s hard to find places that aren’t. It’s just part of life here.
The decor is colorful and bright. Some people in our group said it could be less colorful, but I personally love the bright colors for this kind of restaurant.
The ambiance is very relaxed and family oriented and you have different street musicians that come in to perform while you eat. It can be overwhelming if you come on a weekend, but some of them are great entertainers (see video below).
The prices are very reasonable. Some people in our group even said they thought the food was under-priced. The service is friendly and fast.
And the food, the most important thing, has that homemade touch that reminds me of my mom’s cooking when she prepares my favorite dishes. I will definitely go back and take friends and family members for a taste of Tixtla, Guerrero.
Con Sabor a Tixtla
Chiapas 173, Colonia Roma